“Xbox games may have spurred synagogue attacks, lawyer says”

by Walter Olson on February 1, 2012

“A man accused of firebombing three New Jersey synagogues may have been influenced by violent Xbox video games that aggravated his mental issues, his attorney said Tuesday. … [Anthony] Graziano’s attorney, Robert Kalisch, speaking outside court after the hearing Tuesday morning, described Graziano as a young man with mental health issues who had few friends and played violent games on his Xbox.” [MSNBC, Patrick Scott Patterson/Examiner](& Elie Mystal, Above the Law)


1 Scott Jacobs 02.01.12 at 3:31 pm

As someone who enjoys violent games on his Xbox, I would just like to tell this young man to please go eat a bullet.

If you are so flawed that playing any kind of video game causes you to go harm people, you are too flawed to be allowed freedom, and should spend the rest of your life locked up anyways

2 DensityDuck 02.01.12 at 5:50 pm

It’s the Twinkie Defense!

3 John Burgess 02.01.12 at 5:51 pm

The kid plays Wolfenstein too much and starts identifying with the enemy?

4 CWTyger 02.01.12 at 5:56 pm

Since I’m pretty sure most people are in agreement that video games don’t cause violence (as evidenced by the comments thread at MSNBC), what I’d like to know is which games this firebomber actually played. The lawyer carefully didn’t say which ones, I guess so that he could go out and purchase a used copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, carefully peel off the GameStop stickers, place it on the defendant’s shelf, then dramatically point to it and say “Aha!”

But that can easily be defeated by asking the defendant for his Xbox Live gamertag. Anyone else with an account can check his profile on-line quite easily and see what games he has actually been playing. Oh, wow, 200/200 GP for Hexic? He must be a killing machine!

5 D 02.01.12 at 7:50 pm

Seems more like a symptom than a cause. But having said that, when I boil down the arguments from both sides, it sounds an awful lot like “Uh-uh” “Yeah-huh” “Uh-uh” “Yeah-huh”.

6 Scott Jacobs 02.01.12 at 8:06 pm

“I always knew Viva Pinata was a gateway to evil…”

7 Scott Jacobs 02.01.12 at 8:11 pm

“Your Honor, members of the jruy, I will show that after a marathon gaming session of Disneyland Adventures, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, and Kinectimals, my client was powerless to suppress the urge to kill Jews.”

8 DEM 02.01.12 at 9:21 pm

Ladies and geentlemen of the jury, I’m just a caveman. I don’t understand your modern products. iPhones frighten and confuse me. But there is one thing I do know: the Defendant’s Xbox made him want to burn synagogues. I ask you to return a judgment of $19 billion against Nintendo.

9 CWTyger 02.01.12 at 9:41 pm

Here’s another thought: he’s so destitute that he wanted bail reduced, but he can still somehow acquire video games? Did his parents buy them for him?

10 Scott Jacobs 02.01.12 at 9:52 pm

OK, DEM wins…

11 Scott Jacobs 02.01.12 at 11:35 pm

CWT – he’s 19… I suspect that while he has more than enough funds for video games, his funds are still limited…

I mean, you can afford a lot of games working part time for minimum wage, but still not have much, all while living at home.

12 CTrees 02.02.12 at 8:24 am



I could say more, but that’s what every last one of these stories ignore. Every last one.

13 Alan K. Henderson 02.03.12 at 12:44 am

I blame this suit on too many first-person trial lawyer video games.

14 CTrees 02.03.12 at 8:31 am

@Alan: Truly, Phoenix Wright is corrupting our society.

15 David Schwartz 02.03.12 at 6:55 pm


I used to believe that, but then I took a statistics class.

16 MF 02.03.12 at 8:01 pm

>I used to believe that, but then I took a statistics class.

Either you’re being sarcastic, and if that’s the case, please ignore the rest of this comment, or you need to ask for a refund of your tuition.

OK, since Sunday’s the Super Bowl, how about this Super Bowl scenario: I’m a Cleveland Browns fan. No player wearing a brown jersey has ever played in the Super Bowl. There is a high (negative) correlation between wearing a brown jersey and playing in the Super Bowl. Does that mean that wearing a brown jersey causes that player’s team never to make it to the Super Bowl?

(Condolences for my being a Browns fan are not necessary – I can take comfort that the Browns will always be the last NFL Champion prior to the creation of the Super Bowl. Of course I was only three and don’t remember it…)

17 gitarcarver 02.03.12 at 9:42 pm

Uh…. MF?

I don’t want to break your bubble, but the last pre Super Bowl game was the 1965 season, where the Packers defeated the Browns 23-12. The year prior (1964) the Browns did win the Championship.

I don’t mean to be taking away your memories, but the Browns were not the last champions prior to the Super Bowl.

The last Championship game was on January 2, 1966, and in July of that year, the AFL – NFL merger was announced. The merger created the Super Bowl, which was first played at the end of the 1966 season on January 1, 1967.

The Browns have the distinction of being the losers of the last NFL Championship game.

Go Browns!

18 MF 02.06.12 at 1:49 pm

Ack! I had believed all along that the first SB was in January 1966, not 1967. You’re right, the Browns can’t even win for losing! :-)

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